Royals Acquire Aoki, Dodgers Bag Beard

The Kansas City Royals have traded LHP Will Smith to Milwaukee in return for outfielder Norichika Aoki. A number of other deals have been made in the past day or so, though none involving the New York Mets.

There had been buzz about the blogosphere that the Brewers could send Aoki to the Mets in return for Ike Davis. The assumption was that Aoki would fit nicely as a leadoff hitter for the Mets, and the Brewers had a vacancy at first base where Davis could start over. However, a trade between the two teams never materialized, perhaps because Milwaukee is considering bringing back Corey Hart to play 1B, perhaps because the Mets felt they can get more for Davis, or perhaps any number of other reasons. Bottom line is that Aoki is in Kansas City, and Davis is still, for now, property of the Mets.

For what it’s worth, I thought a Davis for Aoki trade would’ve made good sense for both clubs. Though Aoki is on the wrong side of 30, he’d upgrade the Mets’ corner defense and provide them a legit leadoff guy with speed who rarely strikes out and has a bit of pop — players like that aren’t easy to find.

In other news not involving the Mets …

Joe Nathan signed with the Detroit Tigers; two years, club option for a third, reportedly in the neighborhood of $20M.

Edward Mujica signed with the Red Sox; two years, $9.5M.

The Bosox also signed catcher A.J. Pierzynski to a one-year, $8.25M contract. Good sign for Boston, I think. It seems Pierzynski is perennially underrated by the market; he’s a solid backstop who swings a good stick. Pierzynksi apparently turned down several multi-year deals, but chose winning over money.

Paul Konerko agreed to return to the White Sox on a one-year deal for $2.5M, so scratch him off the list of possible Flushing first basemen. He could’ve been a nice fit as a platoon partner for Lucas Duda, in my opinion — but there was never any buzz on Konerko leaving Chicago.

Ryan Vogelsong is returning to San Francisco, also on a one-year deal, but for $5M.

Willie Bloomquist signed with Seattle for two years, $5.8M. Seems kind of steep for a 36-year-old bench guy. What, then, is Justin Turner‘s value?

Jose Molina returned to Tampa on a two-year, $4.5M deal. Bargain for one of the top defensive backstops in baseball.

Finally, The Beard — a.k.a. Brian Wilson — has agreed to a two-year, $18.5M contract with the Dodgers. The plan is for Wilson to be the setup man to Kenley Jansen. Personally, I think it makes good sense to spend big bucks for a lights-out 8th-inning guy, and even for a 7th-inning guy. Too many games are decided in the 6th and 7th inning by the worst pitchers on either club.

Did I miss anything? Do you have any comment on the above moves? Answer in the comments.

Mets Item of the Day

Did you put up a tree yet? How about hanging a Mr. Met ornamenton it? It’s under ten bucks — a steal!


Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. friend December 5, 2013 at 6:13 pm
    Aoki anagrams to “a koi”, fitting the fish profile.

    Take that cord away from the Mr. Met ornament before he tries to commit suicide with it.

  2. MF December 6, 2013 at 12:35 am
    If you have an ornament of the Wilpons where they hang with holiday colored rope by their necks I’m in!
  3. argonbunnies December 6, 2013 at 1:57 am
    Yet another cheap deal — Aoki traded for a guy who’s probably a reliever. Could we have gotten Aoki for Familia? If so, our RF would be better and $6 mil cheaper. *sigh*
    • DaveSchneck December 6, 2013 at 9:03 am
      Unfortunately, the acquisiton of C Young kind of eliminated a pursuit of Aoki. While the Mets still need an upgrade at leadoff hitter, the need a #4 bat more, and the remaining OF spot is the most likely place to fill the need (hence the Granderson pursuit). I would not have traded Ike for one year of Aoki, and I wouldn’t trade a pitching prospect for that either.
  4. meticated December 6, 2013 at 2:48 am
    You da shizzle